Spotify Plus is a new $0.99 subscription tier being piloted by the streaming service which combines elements of its existing free and premium tiers. The plan still features ads like Spotify’s free tier, but it doesn’t impose any limits on the number of tracks you can skip per hour. Users are also free to pick which specific songs they want to listen to, rather than mostly being limited to shuffling within albums and playlists. The new Spotify Plus tier is a tenth of the cost of Spotify’s unrestricted ad-free Premium tier, which currently costs $9.99 a month.
Spotify’s free tier has existed in its current form since 2018. It doesn’t let users skip more than six tracks per hour, and only lets them pick and listen to specific tracks from 15 select playlists, ranging from editorial-selected playlists to algorithmically generated collections like “Discover Weekly” and “Daily Mix.” Outside of these playlists, free users can only listen to shuffled tracks. The new Spotify Plus tier is a relatively cheap way to reduce some of those restrictions.
Spotify Plus is ad-supported, but comes with a subscription cost.Image: Spotify In-app ads for the tier have also been appearing for some users.Screenshot: Spotify
News of the new test tier was initially shared with The Verge by a reader (thanks, Gustovo!) and later confirmed by Spotify in a statement. “We’re always working to enhance the Spotify experience and we routinely conduct tests to inform our decisions,” a spokesperson said. “We’re currently conducting a test of an ad-supported subscription plan with a limited number of our users.”
However, Spotify cautioned that there’s no guarantee that the new tier will launch in its current form. “Some tests end up paving the way for new offerings or enhancements while others may only provide learnings. We don’t have any additional information to share at this time.”
Spotify has a history of testing new features years before they actually launch, if they ever release at all. The best example of this is lossless audio streaming, which Spotify was testing as far back as 2017. Although the service officially announced its lossless “HiFi” tier earlier this year, it’s still yet to become available. Other tests include Snapchat-like stories for select playlists and visual quote cards for podcasts, both of which no longer appear to be visible in the app.